“PFor me, it is important to work with pro-European, pro-NATO, pro-Ukraine groups, who clearly support our democratic values. (…) As you know, all European elections imply a change in the composition of different political parties and different political groups, so content counts and those who defend democracy against euro skeptics and those who defend our values against Putin’s friends, these are the ones I want to work with and I know I can work with”, said Ursula von der Leyen.

The current president of the European Commission, who wants to be ‘Spitzenkandidat’ of the EPP in order to serve another five-year term at the head of the institution, pointed out that a possible agreement with parties that are “against the rule of law is impossible”, and is also “impossible with [partidos] friends of [Vladimir] Putin”.

Asked specifically about an agreement between the PPE and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, the candidate said that “there must be a very clear position from the politicians” who are in this group after the elections.

“Do they defend democracy? Do they defend our values? Are they very firm in the rule of law? Do they support Ukraine? And are they fighting against Putin’s attempt to weaken and divide Europe? And these answers must be very clear”, he said.

On Monday, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced her candidacy for ‘Spitzenkandidat’ (head of list) of the European People’s Party (EPP) for the European elections in June, aiming for a re-candidacy at the head of the institution for another five years.

The person responsible was the only one to run for PPE’s ‘Spitzenkandidat’, but her name has yet to be confirmed by the center-right bench at the congress scheduled for March 6th and 7th in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.

Von der Leyen should then be officially designated the EPP’s main candidate for the European Parliament elections, scheduled for June 6 to 9, 2024, after initially being supported by the German party Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

As the first woman president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen was approved by the European Parliament in November 2019, with 461 votes in favor, 157 against and 89 abstentions, in a decision that was taken by an absolute majority (half of the MEPs in office another).

Currently, the European Parliament is made up of seven political groups, the EPP being the largest of them, followed by the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the group of the Party of European Socialists (PES).

In mid-January, the PES announced that the current Luxembourgish European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, was the sole candidate for the political family’s ‘Spitzenkandidat’ in the June European elections.

The figure of main candidates — in the German term ‘Spitzenkandidat’ — emerged in the 2014 European elections, with the largest European parties presenting their choices for future president of the European Commission.

Then, in 2019, an attempt was made to apply this model again, but due to disagreement between political groups, these main candidates did not occupy high European positions.

Ursula von der Leyen was not the EPP’s ‘Spitzenkandidat’ in 2019.

Read Also: Ursula von der Leyen is the only candidate to head the EPP list

Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2506272/von-der-leyen-rejeita-acordos-com-partidos-amigos-de-putin

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